An ATM machine was stolen from a Rimbey Fas Gas on the weekend when the culprits backed a truck through the doors, hooked up the machine and dragged it out.
“They pulled it out of the front of the building and loaded it into the back of the truck and left with it,” said Rimbey RCMP Const. Charles Lambright.
The brazen theft happened about 4 a.m. on Saturday and is believed to have been part of a crime spree that began a day earlier. Sometime early Thursday, a truck was stolen in Rimbey and was later used in the theft of a camper from a Ford dealership in the town. The camper was later recovered.
It is believed the stolen truck was then used in the ATM heist.
RCMP said the truck was driven to the Blindman Hall, west of Bluffton. The crooks used the light shining outside the hall to work on breaking open the ATM. Small pieces of the machine were found in the parking lot.
At some point, they noticed the hall was protected with video surveillance equipment. To get rid of the evidence, the crooks stole the video camera and broke into the hall to get the video recorder sometime overnight Saturday.
Lambright said the same suspects are also believed to be behind a break and enter of a recreational cottage about two km away. A large industrial Honda generator and two tool chests filled with tools were swiped, along with a couple of nail guns.
About 8 p.m., the burning remnants of a truck similar to the one reported stolen was found on a lease site just off Secondary Hwy 616 near Breton. The licence plate was missing and serial number plates pried off to make it difficult to identify the vehicle.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-TIPS (8466).